Deputy Chairman Senate for connecting Gwadar with PRs without delay

By Adnan Rafique

ISLAMABAD: Deputy Chairman Senate Mirza Muhammad Afridi on Tuesday stressed the need for connecting the Gwadar Port city with Pakistan Railways at the earliest as it would play a pivotal role in providing strong links with Central Asian countries.
He expressed these views while chairing a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Railways.
Mirza Muhammad Afridi directed that Pakistan Railways to complete the rehabilitation work of Main Line-I track at the earliest which comprised of 1,733 km, and also suggested that the young graduate engineers must also be made part of this project.
Secretary Railways Syed Mazhar Ali informed the body that the speed limit of new coaches was around 160 km/h, however, due to the destitute condition of ML-I the coaches were allowed to operate at the speed of 120 km/h.
Furthermore, the committee took up the matter relating to scrap material which was lying pending for auction in the department.
The secretary informed that around 18,867 metric ton of scrap was pending for auction and whose estimated value was around Rs 2358.375 million at cost of Rs. 125 per kg without taxes.
However, he said a total of 3,705 metric ton of scrap has been sold and around 11,836 metric ton had been reserved for Railway use.
The committee directed the ministry to speed up the sale auction process of pending scrap.
The body was briefed about Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the financial year 2023-24.
Abdul Malik, DG of Planning Railways, apprised the committee that 36 projects were enlisted in PSDP 2022-23 which included 22 infrastructure projects, sic rolling stocks projects, seven governance projects and one project related to business development and the estimated cost of these projects were around Rs 1,261 billion. Seven projects would be completed by the June of this year, he added.
He said that the ministry had only included five new projects for PSDP 2023-24 and intended to allocate 90 per cent of expected funds to ongoing projects and merely 10 percent to new projects.
Among others, the meeting was attended by Senator Dost Muhammad, Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, State Minister for Law and Justice Senator Shahadat Awan, Secretary for Ministry of Railways Syed Mazhar Ali Shah, CEO Pakistan Railways Salman Sadiq Shaikh, DG Planning Railways Abdul Malik, and other senior officers of the relevant departments.